Wikitravel:Using User Talk pages
It can help to use User Talk pages rather than Article Discussion pages for those quick and ephemeral questions and explanations that don't need to be archived for ever or are more diplomatically raised on a one-to-one basis and to hammer out differences.
Talk page formatting
You can get to the User Talk page for a particular user by clicking on the discussion tab when reading that User's page.
You edit User Talk pages just like editing any other page in Wikitravel; see how to edit a page for instructions. When using talk pages, add new topics at the bottom of the page.
If there are already conversations going on on that page, it can help to add a new heading. You can either click on the [Add topic ] button next to the "edit" tab if it's there, or create the heading manually like this:
==Names in Chinese==
...so that there's a visual distinction between topics of discussion.
Don't forget that User Talk pages are publicly accessible and anyone can read them.
Unless the User Talk page has been specially protected, it's possible for other users, registered or unregistered, to edit, change, delete, move, overwrite, add to, or otherwise mess around with User Talk pages or subpages. It's generally considered bad form to remove or alter any comments other than your own unless invited by the user that User Talk page belongs to.
It's important to remember that while User Talk pages and subpages don't need to follow the style guidelines for Wikitravel articles -- after all, they are for personal organisation and communication -- all content must be under our copyleft.
You should sign your posts on User Talk pages, so people know who they're talking to. Just enter four tildes at the end of your comments ("~~~~"), and it will turn into a signature with your user name, time and date.
Responses to other people's talk should be indented. You can use a colon (":") at the beginning of a paragraph to indent that paragraph. Responses to responses should be indented twice (two colons); responses to responses to responses get indented three times and so on. After a while, the increasing indentation will make the column of writing get too narrow - so you can go back to using no colon, with successive contributors each continuing to increment the indentation of their posts as before.
There are some points of etiquette in using User Talk pages that have built up over the years. Here are a few:
Sometimes users behave badly and they are blocked from editing all pages for a varying time.
So that the blocked user can defend himself against allegations, his own User Talk Page is always exempt from this (otherwise) site-wide block.
(In the case that this natural justice privilege is egregiously abused, illicit contributions may still be Oversighted or censored.)
If you have something to discuss about Wikitravel as a whole, the Wikitravel:Travellers' pub is a good place to put your comments. You can also add a talk-page style note to the Logbook by clicking on "Today's Log" in the left-hand nav bar.
Requests for comment
If you think an issue needs more attention, you can add it to the requests for comment page to get more attention on it.
If you must rant, there are endless venues to do so on the internet. While everyone is entitled to a good one now and then, off topic rants on User Talk pages may be deleted by the User or by admins or IBadmins.